One of the markers of a life well lived must surely be the stories, experiences and memories that are told, retold, remembered and re-experienced throughout the life span. The Picky Peaches have the privilege of knowing someone who has had the courage to live out loud in a time when women didn’t typically take control of their lives in the manner that they do today. She is a true “peach”, which, to us, means that she has a sense of adventure and a zest for life, and is especially liked or enjoyed. Our peach is someone who is interested in going new places, trying new things and cherishing friendships along the way. She is genuinely interested in others. Our peach is there when you need her but would never do so in a manner that would draw attention to herself. She’s unselfish and has no hidden agenda. She has a captivating smile, crystal blue eyes and a kind word for everyone. She takes care of her physical health without being high-maintenance. Being in her mid-80s, she appears younger than her years. Maybe you know someone like this. We are blessed to know a wonderful peach who is a delightful ray of sunshine to everyone who knows her. Even though she’s not a Georgia native, but Southern nonetheless, Miss Kitty epitomizes our definition of a peach.
In 1958, Miss Kitty’s dad picked up her things and moved her from her native Knoxville to Atlanta to begin her new adventure. Her father was seeing his daughter grow up and take life by the horns. He left her with words of encouragement but also told her that she didn’t have to stay. But she knew she was beginning an exciting time in her life and so she began her journey. Miss Kitty took a job with an insurance company. Think about that. A young woman moved to Atlanta, alone, for a job opportunity, in 1958. What a pioneer! What an adventure! What courage!
When they arrived in Atlanta, Miss Kitty and her father drove around town looking for places to rent. They found a room off Juniper Street and her dad helped her get settled. Looking in person had the benefit of seeing the neighborhood and nearby amenities. Miss Kitty and her dad knew it was the perfect place because it was within walking distance of the Church. She worshipped and grew strong in her faith there from 1959 until 1978. During that time, she bought her own home in a new area and then moved to another church where she was an active member and served as a Deacon at a time when many churches didn’t ordain women. She remained at that church until 2000 and maintains friendships with families she met there.
“Kitty Shug”, as her long-time adult Sunday School teacher often called her, is known for reading scripture in church on Sundays, loving her friends’ children as if they were her own, and devotedly following Jesus Christ. There are two things that Miss Kitty always imparted to her friends’ children: she loves the Lord with all of her heart and she prays for the children every day. She often receives letters and cards from the children even as they have grown up and had their own families. They want her to know that she truly impacted their lives.
As we sat around an old-fashioned table adorned with a red and white checkered table cloth at Matthews Cafeteria, we heard stories that spanned many years of her friendships, her family, the children who have passed through her life and whose hearts she has touched and, most importantly, how she gives God all the glory for her well-lived life. Her faith is strong as is her will to share all she knows about living well.
When we take the time to ask the more seasoned generation about their lives, we begin to see their lives as jewels that have been polished through time and experience. We begin to see the beauty and uniqueness that their life represents. We then have the opportunity to create the same beauty for our own life.
Join us next week when we visit a tasty pit stop that’s right on the way to the Beaches of South Walton. Whether you’re headed to Destin, Seagrove, Seaside or Panama City for Spring Break, or Summer Vacation, you won’t want to miss it!
Until next time, Love and Peaches!